Ingraham tells constituents farewell and goodbye
Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham
Coopers Town, Abaco
12 May, 2012
I’ve come to express sincerest thanks and appreciation to Abaco and particularly to the people of the North Abaco Constituency: Grand Cay, Crown Haven, Fox Town, Mount Hope, Wood Cay, Cedar Harbour, Coopers Town, Fire Road, Blackwood, Green Turtle Cay, Treasure Cay, Leisure Lee, Murphy Town and Dundas Town for electing me as your MP on 8 consecutive occasions. I also express my thanks to Central Pines for electing me on two separate occasions.
Many of you have voted for me on each occasion, twice as a PLP, one time as an Independent and 5 times as an FNM. This is a singular distinction for me, to have you support me wearing three distinct hats – I thank you for your confidence, your loyalty and your support.
One thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven or 38% of the 4,130 people registered to vote in this constituency in this election were not born yet when I was first elected on the 19 July, 1977 at the age of 29. I am now 64.
I have spent more than one half of my life in your service. I ran again this time to Head the Government for a 4th time; the Bahamian public rejected my message and denied my request. I accept their determination and in the Westminster tradition of electoral democracy which we adhere to, I have determined to end my public life which has spanned more than half my own lifetime.
When I was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1977 we had 5 polling divisions; 1,292 people voted and I received 892 or 69% of the votes cast.
Fast forward to today, there are 12 polling divisions in North Abaco and 4,130 persons voted. I received 2,235 or 54% of the votes cast.
I will resign as Leader of the Free National Movement on the 26th May when we hold a Special Convention to formally elect a new Leader of the Party. I have lead the FNM for 19 years, and for 15 of those years I also served as Prime Minister. I will resign from the House of Assembly on the anniversary of my first election – the 19th July – two weeks before my 65th birthday, the mandatory retirement age for civil servants.
And so, tonight I ask you to accept my determination to retire from public life and to return your seat to you.
Over the coming weeks I ask you to discuss amongst yourselves whom you would choose to replace me as your FNM Member of Parliament. Be assured of my support for your decision.
I acknowledge my debt to you and express my gratitude. I leave with my reputation in tack; I gave you decent, honourable and incorruptible service. I did my best for you and I leave you now much, much better off than when we began.
I especially wish to recognize and thank some of the people who have been my eyes, ears and hands in most, if not all of my election campaigns. Indeed, they organized and determined how we would approach each campaign and told me where to be and when to speak.
I express special gratitude for support over the years from all of you for which I am forever grateful. I mention in particular Everette Bootle and all the people of Coopers Town, Roosevelt Curry, George Russell, Flaywood Saunders and the Heilds of Grand Cay; Agatha Russell in Crown Haven; Millie McIntosh in Fox Town; my Mount Hope family -Unca Allan and Aunt Movina and Samuel Mills, indeed, all the Mills Family of Cedar Harbour; Mount Hope, Coopers Town, Fire Road, Blackwood, Green Turtle Cay – particularly Floyd Lowe, Michael Levarity, George Reckley and Lincoln Jones; Treasure Cay; Rev. Roland Swain (deceased) and the Gomez, Simms and all the others in Murphy Town, and my Dundas Town family – – the Mills, Hepburns, Humes, Nesbitts, Strachans, Morleys, and Sawyers; and the Archers and the Mills in Dundas Town.
In this election especially I thanks and express my gratitude to Winsome Ferguson, Dolly Mills, O.C. and Malvern Cornish, Kevin McIntosh, Roosevelt Curry and all the others for the part they played over the years and most especially in this my most recent re-election campaign.
I thank all the people of Abaco for their faithfulness and loyalty and support. It does my heart good to know that I love you and that you love me in return.
It does my heart well that Abaco has joined Long Island in being amongst the most faithful of Family Island constituencies to our Party since I joined the FNM in 1990. We are Abaco; we are never fearful and we will not abandon the FNM ship! So I will be replaced as your MP by another FNM!
To know that I have been your MP one has only to look around from Grand Cay to Dundas Town and Central Pines which did not exist in 1977.
We have come from communities that got water from open wells or rainwater tanks in Green Turtle Cay and Grand Cay, to communities with piped water; from kerosene lamps in Little Abaco and Grand Cay to electricity, from no telephone service to hardline phones, cell phones and internet access; from no paved roads outside of our communities to paved roads from Crown Haven in the north to Sandy Port in the South and to paved roads in every community; from an All Age School in Cooper’s Town to the primary and high schools we have today; from no recreational spaces to public parks and public recreational spaces in Grand Cay, Fox Town, Cedar Harbour, Cooper’s Town, Blackwood, Green Turtle Cay, Murphy Town and the Treasure Cay Beach Park – the list goes on and on and on.
I leave a number of projects in train for you: new subdivisions for community expansion in Crown Haven, Fox Town, Cooper’s Town, Green Turtle Cay, Dundas and Murphy Town; the new port at Conch Rock and the Angle Creek Fish Bridge and asphalt paving of the Treasure Cay Airport.
The new terminal at Marsh Harbour Airport is nearing completion. The new Administrative Complex is complete and the Central Abaco Hospital is under construction.
I will be returning to my law office in Nassau and re-opening my law office in Marsh Harbour and spending more time here in Abaco at my house in Cooper’s Town and in the seas of Abaco – “fishnin”.
I am honoured for the privilege to have been of service to you. On my own behalf and that of my wife Delores, our children, relatives and friends I say a BIG thank you to all.
I love all of you.